October 3, 2011
The law lagged several years behind the modern surge of musical sampling. Hip-hop artists in the 1980s blissfully exploited emerging digital tools without stirring record label lawyers to action.
But by the early 90s, massive commercial success inspired the law to evolve. Workable yet unsettled, sampling law now includes a harsh admonition to all would-be “playas”: “Get a license or don’t sample.”
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